Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ski resort etiquette

I am on a winter vacation, snowboarding in New England! I'm having a great time, but I thought it would be helpful to give some advice for visiting ski resorts. So here's a list of rules I think everyone should follow:

1. Don't take other people's stuff. It's actually kind of amazing that in this day and age there are still places where you can leave your things out in the open and chances of anything getting stolen are slim to none. But every once in a while, something goes missing. So make sure to mark your belongings with your name, or some sort of obvious marker (ex. I have a red ribbon on my bag). So let's keep ski resorts trustworthy, and only handle your own things.

2. When you're done eating/getting dressed, leave the lodge. There are only so many chairs and tables to go around. So once you're ready to hit the slopes, don't dilly-dally. Just get out there! And once you're finished with your snack/lunch, move so that other people who haven't eaten can use the space. Don't be a table/chair hog!

3. If you're slow on the slopes, or a beginner, wait for the faster, more experienced skiers and snowboarders to pass you. Now, I don't consider myself an expert, and I don't like to speed down the mountain. But it is very frustrating when I'm trying to do my thing, and there's a family in front of me traversing the entire mountain at the rate of slugs. I fell several times just trying to avoid hitting people who didn't know what the hell they were doing. If you can't handle it, wait your turn, or stick to the bunny slope.

4*. Snowboarders: When you're waiting in the line for the lift, and one of your feet is off the board, clip the straps of the loose binding together. It's difficult if I'm trying to get on the lift with you, and I keep stepping on your straps. It's not that hard to tuck everything in nice 'n' tidy. 

5. If you're the extra single on the lift, please attempt to make polite conversation. I know some people don't like talking to strangers, but if you're going to be sitting next to some people for the next five minutes, you might as well be friendly. Even if you're just commenting on how great the hills are or how cold it is, that's better than sitting there totally mute (or ragging on our older boards, as one gentleman did to us). It makes the lift ride less awkward and more pleasant, and you might make a friend.

6*. If you're with friends/family on vacation, don't call/text you significant other who isn't with you. Seriously? You can't go a few hours without chit-chatting with your lover-boy/girl? I went several days without talking to my boyfriend before I checked in with him. It is just so rude to talk/text to other people who aren't even present in the room, while ignoring people you're actually with at that very moment.

*My own sister and father are guilty of these.

And a little special rant to ski resorts: WHY must you cater to families? Okay, I get it, ski lessons are expensive, and you want kids to enjoy skiing so that they spend their own money at ski resorts when they grow up. But it must be obvious how less enjoyable to ski experience is for those of us who don't have children. And it's not just the fact that these kids are on the slopes either going super-fast or slow as molasses, messing up my groove. It's actually all of the stuff that has nothing to do with skiing or snowboarding. For example, Cannon Mountain had a bouncy castle IN THE LODGE. I had to eat my sandwich next to a handful of kids jumping and screaming inside this box that is clearly meant to be outside. Yes, I realize it's very cold. Guess what? Don't have a bouncy house. Ski resorts are not required to have bouncy houses. And Bretton Woods had a rock climbing wall inside as well. Why? I'm trying to enjoy my clementine, and instead I have to watch a bunch of kids belay off the walls and hang from the ropes like monkeys. That does not help my appetite.

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